Lord willing, Kings Cross will be established as a new independent church beginning next Sunday with our own elders and membership. So I though it would be worth reviewing what we believe about church membership briefly. What do we mean by it and why do we bother with it? The basic case for church membership is found in Hebrew 13 where it says, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7). And “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Heb. 13:17).
So our position is that at the very least there ought to be two lists of names: a list of elders and a list of members. And the people on the two lists need to know one another well enough and there needs to be enough interaction between them that members can consider the way of life of their leaders and imitate their faith as it says, and the leaders need to know their people well enough to actually watch over their souls and give an account to God for them.
While we must not become ingrown and myopic, pretending that we are the only Christians around, our culture tends to be on the very other end of the spectrum: most of the scare-mongering focuses on warning you not to become part of some kind of cult. But our concern is to simply be faithful to Scripture and to Jesus: and that means cultivating the kind of loyalty to God and His people that will sometimes be accused of being cultish.
Our membership is fundamentally in Christ; we are members of His universal body, but that membership is lived out in particular places at particular times with particular people. And this is how God proves the power of the gospel and His Spirit: knitting people together who are very different, teaching them to love one another, in order to the show the world that Christ has come and invite them in.